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Taverners Trust PLC (SIGT)

  Print      Mail a friend       Annual reports

Tuesday 01 July, 2003

Taverners Trust PLC

Final Results

Taverners Trust PLC
01 July 2003



THE TAVERNERS TRUST PLC
PRELIMINARY ANNOUNCEMENT OF UNAUDITED ANNUAL RESULTS
for the year ended 30 April 2003


Chairman's Statement

I last wrote to shareholders before Christmas 2002 in order to detail an unhappy
period of underperformance in the life of the Taverners Trust which I am sorry
to say continued albeit to a lesser degree until the end of March. In fact the
Trust's Net Asset Value bottomed on 14 March 2003 at 70.1p just before the
commencement of the war in Iraq. The last two weeks of March saw the nadir of
our fortunes relative to the benchmark. From then on, the measures already taken
and referred to in my interim statement to position the fund in regional brewers
and other companies paying sensible dividends stabilised the portfolio. At the
same time we reduced our exposure in particular to the more volatile Alternative
Investment Market. Since the end of March the Trust's Net Asset Value has risen
by 22% in line with the benchmark index which is up by 21%. This rise in Net
Asset Value has also brought in its train a most welcome 29% improvement in the
Trust's share price from 50p to 64.5p. Most of our larger holdings have
contributed to this advance; a big move by Enterprise Inns, where we have had to
take some profit because the holding threatened to become over large, accounted
for over 15% of the advance and we were also helped by recoveries from a low
base by Luminar and Georgica.

Over the year on which we are reporting the Trust's Net Asset Value declined by
37% while the broader based Leisure and Hotels index was down by 25%. To lose
over a third of the value held by investors in this way is seriously unfortunate
and we can only apologise for this decline in value. Sadly we are not alone in
having to report a fall of this dimension. Most of this decline occurred before
the end of the 2002 calendar year and I explained in my interim statement that
these difficulties stemmed from the Trust's failure to exit fully the town
centre managed pubcos and in particular from our remaining large investment in
SFI Group whose shares were eventually suspended after a long decline. Over the
second half of the year on which we are reporting, ie. from 31 October 2002 to
30 April 2003, the Trust's NAV declined by 13.7% while the benchmark remained
almost static falling by only 1.6%. As explained above the underperformance
lasted approximately six months from the end of September 2002. During February
the Trust repaid £500,000 of its three million pound bank loan in order to
reduce its gearing ratio; the market was still falling, our cash was strong,
break costs were low and it was felt that this action was an appropriate
precautionary response in case of a further sharp deterioration in the indices.

Christmas trading statements confirmed the pattern established during the autumn
whereby the managed retailers trading in town centres continued to suffer, while
regional brewers and tenancies reported less difficulty although most stated
that trade was challenging. Food oriented pubs did well and the economy proved
more resilient away from London and the South East. Another of our town centre
holdings Po Na Na failed to make needed disposals and went into receivership
after our year end, yet another accident that need not have occurred as success
tempted the company to operate larger units beyond their core late night bars
which were cash generative. Over the winter months of 2002/3 following the
autumn disasters on the High Streets both the pubco and regional brewery
sub-sectors were totally out of favour with investors until the market slowly
became aware that investment in the regional brewers remained as solid in this
downturn as it has been in the past. We increased our holdings in Hardys and
Hansons and to a lesser extent Burtonwood Brewery. Hardys, a debt free company
which has benefited from proactive management and the closure of the other two
regional breweries in the Nottingham area, has rewarded us with a 15%
improvement in share price; Burtonwood is also well ahead having acquired the
freeholds of 94 leased pubs and disposed of a clutch of non-viable small houses.

Opinion is divided as to whether the recent rise in the market presages a return
to bull market conditions or whether we are rather in the middle of a strong
bear market rally. We are also mindful that the full effects of the recent
market upheaval and slowing economy may not as yet have worked through to
consumer expenditure and may well impact our sector. However in recent weeks we
have returned to some of the stronger town centre retailers whose shares look to
us to be standing at unjustifiably low levels after the collapse.

Obviously consumers have welcomed the fact that the Iraq war has ended yet there
is also a sense that the resultant feel-good factor is somewhat fragile. As we
witnessed in the sharp but shortlived stockmarket decline in 1998 the late night
town centre market has proved less resilient to the downturn than the community
public house. Looking forward to the autumn we will be entering a period when
comparatives for the town centre operators will be weak. In June 2002 we had the
Jubilee and then the World Cup; both these events were negative for the late
night operators but positive for community houses with large screens. Moreover
all of the regional brewers who have reported recently have said that trade is
for the present holding up well. If confidence is truly returning we may even
see a resurgence in the town centre later in the year.

For a second year we have decided to dip a little into our revenue reserve in
order to repeat our small dividend of 0.5p per share. If approved by
shareholders at the Annual General Meeting, the dividend will be payable on 18
September 2003 to Ordinary shareholders on the register on the record date 25
July 2003.


L J Ross
Chairman
1 July 2003







Statement of Total Return

                                   Year ended                  Year ended
                                 30 April 2003                30 April 2002
                                  (unaudited)                   (audited)
                                               
                            Revenue   Capital    Total   Revenue   Capital   Total
                              £'000     £'000    £'000     £'000     £'000   £'000
---------------------------   -------    ------   ------   -------    ------   -----

(Losses)/gains on                 -    (6,865)  (6,865)        -     2,059   2,059
investments



Income                          507         -      507       519         -     519
Investment management fee      (123)     (123)    (246)     (150)     (150)   (300)
Other expenses                 (228)        -     (228)     (202)        -    (202)
Exchange losses                   -        (2)      (2)        -         -       -
---------------------------   -------    ------   ------   -------    ------   -----

Net return before finance       156    (6,990)  (6,834)      167     1,909   2,076
costs and taxation



Interest payable and            (98)     (114)    (212)     (103)     (100)   (203)
similar charges               
---------------------------   -------    ------   ------   -------    ------   -----

Return on ordinary               58    (7,104)  (7,046)       64     1,809   1,873
activities before
taxation



Taxation on ordinary             (2)        -       (2)       (2)        2       -
activities                   
---------------------------   -------    ------   ------   -------    ------   -----

Return on ordinary               56    (7,104)  (7,048)       62     1,811   1,873
activities after taxation


Dividends in respect of         (80)        -      (80)      (80)        -     (80)
equity shares                 
---------------------------   -------    ------   ------   -------    ------   -----

Transfer (from)/to              (24)   (7,104)  (7,128)      (18)    1,811   1,793
reserves                      
---------------------------   -------    ------   ------   -------    ------   -----



Return per Ordinary share
(pence):

Basic                          0.35    (44.58)  (44.23)     0.39     11.36   11.75
---------------------------   -------    ------   ------   -------    ------   -----

The revenue column of this statement represents the revenue account of the
Company.

All revenue and capital items in the above statement derive from continuing
operations.





Balance Sheet

                                                 As at        As at
                                                30 April      30 April
                                                 2003          2002
                                              (unaudited)    (audited)
                                                 ----------    ---------

                                                    £'000        £'000
--------------------------------------           ----------    ---------

Fixed assets
Investments                                        14,568       22,438
--------------------------------------           ----------    ---------


Current assets
Debtors                                                45          215
Cash at bank and in hand                              500            -
--------------------------------------           ----------    ---------

                                                      545          215


Creditors: amounts falling due within one            (330)        (242)
year                                             
--------------------------------------           ----------    ---------

Net current assets/(liabilities)                      215          (27)
--------------------------------------           ----------    ---------

Total assets less current liabilities              14,783       22,411



Creditors: amounts falling due after more          (2,500)      (3,000)
than one year                                    
--------------------------------------           ----------    ---------

Net assets                                         12,283       19,411
--------------------------------------           ----------    ---------



Capital and reserves
Called-up share capital                             3,984        3,984
Share premium account                              10,536       10,536
Other reserves:
Warrant reserve                                       981          981
Capital reserve - realised                            750        1,922
Capital reserve - unrealised                       (4,100)       1,832
Revenue reserve                                       132          156
--------------------------------------           ----------    ---------

Shareholders' funds                                12,283       19,411
--------------------------------------           ----------    ---------


Net asset value per Ordinary share (pence):
                                                        

Basic                                               77.08       121.81
--------------------------------------           ----------    ---------

Fully-diluted                                         n/a       118.27
--------------------------------------           ----------    ---------




Cash Flow Statement

                                       Year ended        Year ended
                                     30 April 2003     30 April 2002                                         
                                      £'000    £'000    £'000    £'000
 -----------------------------------  -------   ------   ------   ------

Net cash inflow from operating                     8                47
activities


Servicing of finance
Bank and loan interest paid            (216)             (203)
-----------------------------------   -------   ------   ------   ------

Net cash outflow from servicing of              (216)             (203)
finance



Financial investment
Purchases of investments             (6,087)           (3,960)
Sales of investments                  7,400             4,019
-----------------------------------   -------   ------   ------   ------

Net cash inflow from financial                 1,313                59
investment


Equity dividends paid                            (80)              (72)
-----------------------------------   -------   ------   ------   ------

Net cash inflow/(outflow) before               1,025              (169)
financing



Financing
Part repayment of bank loan            (500)                -
-----------------------------------   -------   ------   ------   ------

Net cashflow from financing                     (500)                -
-----------------------------------   -------   ------   ------   ------

Increase/(decrease) in cash                      525              (169)
-----------------------------------   -------   ------   ------   ------



Reconciliation of net cash flow to
movements in net debt

Increase/(decrease) in cash as                   525              (169)
above

Cash outflow from decrease in                    500                 -
loans                                 
-----------------------------------   -------   ------   ------   ------

Change in net debt resulting from              1,025              (169)
cash flows

Exchange movements                                (2)                -
-----------------------------------   -------   ------   ------   ------

Movement in net funds/(debt) for the           1,023              (169)
year

Net debt at 1 May                             (3,023)           (2,854)
-----------------------------------   -------   ------   ------   ------

Net debt at 30 April                          (2,000)           (3,023)
-----------------------------------   -------   ------   ------   ------



Notes:

1. Dividend

The Directors have today declared a first and final dividend of 0.50p per
Ordinary share for the year ended 30 April 2003 (2002 - 0.50p) which, if
approved by Shareholders at the Annual General Meeting, will be payable on 18
September 2003 to Shareholders on the register on 25 July 2003.

2. Income

                                                  2003           2002
                                                 £'000          £'000

Income from investments
UK dividend income                                 487            503
Overseas dividends                                  11              3
                                                --------       --------

                                                   498            506
                                                --------       --------

Other income
Deposit interest                                     8              9
Underwriting commission                              1              4
                                                --------       --------

                                                     9             13
                                                --------       --------

Total income                                       507            519
                                                --------       --------



Total income comprises:
Dividends                                          498            506
Interest                                             8              9
Other income                                         1              4
                                                --------       --------

                                                   507            519
                                                --------       --------



Income from investments:
Listed UK                                          413            426
Listed overseas                                     11              3
Unlisted                                            74             77
                                                --------       --------

                                                   498            506
                                                --------       --------


3. Return per Ordinary share

                          2003                                       2002
        Revenue         Capital          Total           Revenue   Capital   Total
              p               p              p                 p         p       p

Basic      0.35          (44.58)        (44.23)             0.39     11.36   11.75
          -------          ------         ------           -------    ------  ------

The basic revenue return per Ordinary share is calculated on the net revenue on
ordinary activities after taxation of £56,000 (2002 - £62,000) and on 15,936,000
(2002 - 15,936,000) Ordinary shares, being the weighted average number of
Ordinary shares in issue during the year.

The basic capital return per Ordinary share is calculated on net capital losses
for the year of £7,104,000 (2002 - £1,811,000 capital gain) and on 15,936,000
(2002 - 15,936,000) Ordinary shares, being the weighted average number of
Ordinary shares in issue during the year.

Fully diluted returns calculated on the basis set out in Financial Reporting
Standard 14 'Earning per share' ('FRS14') indicate that the exercise of Warrants
in issue would have no dilutive effect on returns.



4. Net asset value per share

The net asset value per share and the net asset values attributable to equity
Shareholders at the year end calculated in

accordance with the Articles of Association and FRS 4 were as follows:

                            Net asset value          Net asset values
                        per share attributable         attributable
                            2003          2002       2003        2002
                               p             p      £'000       £'000

Ordinary shares:
Basic                      77.08        121.81     12,283      19,411
                          --------       -------    -------     -------

Fully diluted                n/a        118.27
                          --------       -------

The movements during the year of the assets attributable to the Ordinary shares
were as follows:

                                                      2003       2002
                                                     £'000      £'000

Total net assets attributable at 1 May 2002         19,411     17,618
Total recognised (losses)/gains for the year        (7,048)     1,873
Dividends appropriated in the year                     (80)       (80)
                                                   ---------  ---------

Total net assets attributable at 30 April 2003      12,283     19,411
                                                   ---------  ---------


5. The financial information for the year ended 30 April 2003 comprises
non-statutory accounts within the meaning of section 240 of the Companies Act
1985. The financial information for the year ended 30 April 2002 has been
abridged from the published accounts that have been delivered to the Register of
Companies and on which the report of the auditors is unqualified and does not
contain a statement under section 237 (2) or (3) of the Companies Act 1985. The
statutory accounts for 2003 will be finalised on the basis of the financial
information presented by the directors in this preliminary announcement and will
be delivered to the Register of Companies in due course.


6. Copies of the Annual Report will be posted to all Shareholders in due course
and further copies may be obtained from the Registered Office, One Bow
Churchyard, Cheapside, London EC4M 9HH.


Aberdeen Asset Management PLC

Secretaries

1 July 2003






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